Hamas, Qatar Downplay Biden’s Optimism on Gaza Truce Breakthrough

By Yoni Weiss

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, Qatar, Feb. 6. (Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo)

Senior Hamas officials on Tuesday downplayed remarks by President Joe Biden, challenging the notion that Israel and the terror group were on the brink of a breakthrough in Gaza.

Biden had suggested on Monday that a deal was close, potentially involving a 40-day truce and the release of hostages.

However, Hamas officials labeled the statement as “premature,” citing significant gaps in key ceasefire and withdrawal issues.

Israeli officials also expressed surprise at Biden’s comments, claiming lack of coordination.

Qatar, actively involved in the talks, refrained from commenting on Biden’s optimism, emphasizing that there was no breakthrough. Qatar, though, expressed optimism and commitment to the proposed agreement outlined in Paris.

Negotiations, mediated by the U.S., Egypt, and Qatar, continued in Doha, with a draft proposal suggesting a 40-day truce, release of hostages by Hamas, and the exchange of Palestinian security prisoners. The terms included halting aerial reconnaissance, facilitating humanitarian aid, and addressing rebuilding needs in Gaza.

Despite ongoing discussions, there was no confirmation on Israel’s consideration of releasing high-profile prisoners in exchange for abducted female soldiers.

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